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Richmond deserves better.



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MEDIA RELEASE

RICHMOND DESERVES BETTER 21 July 2005

Residents living in Northern New South Wales in the Electorate of Richmond deserve better representation from their elected Federal Member Justine Elliott.

Federal Member for McPherson Margaret May has hit out at the Member for Richmond saying she is failing in her responsibilities.

"My office is taking a number of phone calls from residents living in the Tweed, saying that Ms Elliott's office has referred them on to me as the Labor Party is not in government and therefore she's not in a position to help them", Margaret said.

"Ms Elliott needs to understand that her constituents elected her to represent them in Federal Parliament. They did not elect her to have me represent them.

"No matter what your political persuasion is, Ministers' offices role and the role of Government is to help all Australians.

"Ms Elliott needs to understand that her job is to represent her constituents. She has a responsibility to lobby the government, meet with Ministers and make representations. If constituents ask for her to attempt to have legislation changed, her representations are considered by the Government on its merits. The same applies to Coalition members.

"If her constituents want a petition presented, it is her responsibility to table it, not send her constituents across the border and ask me to table it. If she wants to get a program up, it is her responsibility to let the Government know of its merits. And those requirements to lobby, make representations, work hard and get things done apply to all members and senators, whether you're a Liberal, National, Democrat, Green, Labor or Independent.

"The Coalition was in opposition for 13 years and that did not stop us walking the blue carpet in the Ministerial wing and banging on Labor Ministers' doors and getting things done. First and foremost, elected representatives have a duty to get the best deal they possibly can for their constituents from the government of day, whoever that may be.

"Richmond underwent a redistribution in 2000 and from 2001 to 2004, the general population has increased by 6.1 per cent. It's a magnificent part of Australia with more and more people moving there to enjoy it's lifestyle. It also has a large population of older Australians. It's needs continue to grow as the electorate grows and its 83,369 enrolled residents require an effective member who works hard in their interests, not a Member who dismisses those very people who elected her by fobbing them off to a neighbouring Member.

"The previous Member, the Hon Larry Anthony worked hard for the people of Richmond.

"I challenge Ms Elliott to do the same. She's been paid to do a job, it's about time she started doing it and give the people who elected her a fair go by providing them with effective representation", Margaret said.